Camera comparison OnePlus 8 Pro vs. 7T Pro: Test results completely different than expected
Both OnePlus models use a CMOS sensor from Sony for the primary camera. We take a closer look at both the 8 Pro and the 7T Pro using different photo subjects and lighting situations. But first a brief summary of the technical specifications for the rear-mounted camera modules.
Comparison of camera setup of the OnePlus smartphones
The camera modules on the back of the OnePlus 8 Pro consist of four lenses. The primary camera is the new Sony IMX689 with an open aperture of f / 1.78 and OIS. In addition, there is a 48 MP wide-angle camera (IMX586) with an aperture of f / 2.2. At 11.2 millimeters, the 1 / 1.4-inch Sony IMX689 is significantly larger than the 1 / 1.2-inch Sony IMX586. The Quad Bayer color filter in both Sony IMX image sensors can combine 2x2 adjacent pixels to form a large pixel, so that pictures with a resolution of 12 megapixels are created. The so-called 4-in-1 pixel binning increases the actual edge length of the individual pixels of the IMX689 from 1.12 µm to mathematically 2.24 µm, which means that significantly more light and image information are captured than with the IMX586 with a pixel edge length of 0.8 µm and 1.6 µm respectively. The camera package of the 8 Pro is rounded off by an 8 MP telephoto lens with lossless triple zoom and OIS.
The 7T Pro uses the 48 MP IMX586 sensor (OIS, 4-in-1 pixel binning) from Sony with an f / 1.6 aperture not as a wide-angle camera, but as a main camera. In addition to the main lens, the triple cam has a 16 MP wide-angle lens with f / 2.2 aperture and an 8 MP telephoto lens with lossless 3x zoom.
Daylight images of the OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 7T Pro
In daylight, the recordings with the Sony IMX689 of the 8 Pro and the IMX586 of the 7T Pro are of a similar quality. While the 2019 model shows the subjects quite warm, the photos of the OnePlus 8 Pro are a bit colder and also visibly more contrasting. The 48 MP optics in the 2020 flagship smartphone have advantages in terms of image sharpness - but not always. The recordings of the 8 Pro and 7T Pro are on a similar level in terms of dynamics and detail.
Low light pictures of the OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 7T Pro
In low-light conditions, the qualitative distance between the two OnePlus smartphones is greater, even though the 8 Pro still has weaknesses in focusing. Low-light shots with the 2020 flagship appear brighter compared to the predecessor and are less affected by image noise. However, there are also many artifacts in the current OnePlus model, and in the dark the new Sony image sensor reaches its limits despite the pixel binning.
The 8 Pro is also better - especially in terms of brightness and sharpness - when using the night mode, in which multiple recordings over a certain time interval are combined to form the best possible image. However, the 8 Pro shows similar image defects and exposure problems as the 7T Pro, but not as pronounced.
Recordings with the ultra-wide angle and zoom cameras of the OnePlus smartphones
The photo quality of the OnePlus 8 Pro is surprisingly good when using the 3x zoom range. The dynamics in the photos are well hit, and the sharpness is also noticeably better compared to the 7T Pro. Overall, the 2020 model from OnePlus takes better pictures without the problems that the 7T Pro reveals in every test photo (photo 1: exposure, photo 2: focusing, photo 3: color cast) with the tele lens.
A look outside the center of the picture reveals visible weaknesses in sharpness in the current OnePlus model with the ultra wide-angle camera. However, the colors are better hit with the 48 MP cam of the OnePlus 8 Pro, and the contrasts appeal to us more than the 7T Pro. In low light, the newer Sony sensor shows better light sensitivity in the pictures thanks to pixel binning technology. With increasing darkness, the wide-angle shots with the 7T Pro become visibly darker and less clear than with the 2020 flagship.
Conclusion - not the main camera of the OnePlus 8 Pro makes the difference
Both 8 MP telephoto lenses are quite inconspicuous on the data sheet. Nevertheless, the qualitative difference between the OnePlus 8 Pro and the 7T Pro is most visibly pronounced in everyday use of the zoom cameras. The ultra wide-angle cameras of the two OnePlus smartphones also operate at different levels in terms of photo quality. Here, the OnePlus 8 Pro is clearly ahead, not surprising since the older Sony IMX586 still functions as the primary camera sensor for 7T Pro.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is superior to its predecessor in every respect, but the difference between the IMX586 and IMX689 is less than expected.
We would have hoped for a bigger jump in the main cameras, though. The larger physical pixels of the IMX689 capture more light, which ultimately results in better illuminated subjects with less image noise, but its head start is only really noticeable in very poor lighting conditions. The 8 Pro does a better job in daylight as well, but at a similar level.